Ketchup Blog ~ The Writer's Native Environment

Life has been unbelievably busy lately, Gentle Reader. Ever since my trip to NY derailed my finishing M&M, I've been playing ketchup. First I had to do M&M's TKs, knowing if I left them for later they would take me 2x as long.

Running TKs
TK is the text notation many of us writers put in for a future callback. It's searchable shorthand for "To Come" as "T" and "K" don't exist together in the English language. I use it for items that will need extensive research, chronological checks, and events or descriptions I have to check against previous books to avoid consistency errors. TK allows me to write without stopping knowing I can fix errors later. However, if I leave too many, I'm setting myself up for days of work at the end of a manuscript.

Back to the saga...

Then there was a bust up and an extension on my W&W copy edits, mixed in with those came #TwitterFiction, then I had ConDor in San Diego. So rolled straight from TKs on the last Finishing School book into copy edits on the third one. Not necessarily a bad thing as it allows me to refresh my memory of what happened in #3 and make notes for more fixes in #4 in a few months.

The copy edit desk, quite similar to the TK fortunately for me
Above lower left working right: map of London; timeline for all in world books and short stories; Baedeker's Guide to Great Britain; English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth Century; schematic diagram of the Finishing School dirigible; timeline of history (with my own notations as to Victoria's little wars and occurrences in my version of the world); blue story bible for the Finishing School series.

Not shown: copy edit notes; train maps; steam engine schematics; other primary sources.

These days I struggle with hads.
For example:
"Dimity went white as a sheet, more terrified by this than the hair-raising ride they had recently endured." Is correct.
You see, I prefer the tonality of: "Dimity went white as a sheet, more terrified by this than the hair-raising ride they recently endured." No had.
I know the first is technically right, but the second sounds better. This has to do with why my writing is so replete with fragment sentences. I like the punch of how fragments sound when read aloud. There's an not to copy editor to ignore fragment by author request. I know I am breaking that rule but the tonality is vital. All this, I think, has to do with the fact that I was raised on audiobooks (no TV until mid high school) so the sing song nature of text is important to me. I find the extra hads jarring because I would not speak that way. I'm not complaining, I allow them the correction because it doesn't matter that much to me. I just thought you, Gentle Reader, would enjoy a glimpse into the minor frettings of the minutia of copy edits. Quibble should be my middle name. And a darn fine one at that.

Gail Quibble Carriger has a bad case of the hads right now.

So back to the ketchup: Mixed up in all the above was some hastily scheduled minor surgery, which, having cosmetic consequences, turned me into a recluse unable to exercise for over a month ~ rather driving me stir crazy. Anyway, as a result, I'm now delayed on the Prudence rewrites, and (as you may have noticed) this blog is running behind as well. Grrr.

I'm hoping Prudence won't be as hard as I have built it up to be. I've decided on a two prong attack stratagem: 1. digital read through and major plot point fixing as organically as possible, 2. printout read through page by page catch all note fixing. It's going to be a dozy. You know that stretching sensation around the eyes? Yeah.

What does this mean for you? Not a whole lot. Blog posts might be slightly fewer or shorter or both. My social media presence is on a diet, and I won't be doing any other commitments except those I've already agreed to. Not until July at any rate.

Wish me luck?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1809 Tuesday, August 1
Ackerman's Repository v. 3, plate 23

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Why climate change is bad for India’s tea producers

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
5 Elements Sigh-Worthy Romance Novels Must Have


Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third. November 4, 2014. Cover art to come.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins in July.
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Delayed. Why? Rewrite begins soon, release date March 17, 2015.

The Books! 

The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)

The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song, & Fairy Debt

Audiobook of Crudrat releasing end of April 2014. Find out more at

Book News:
Girl Lost in a Book says of Changeless, “This book ends leaving the reader dying to know what happens next, so it was impossible to not pick up the next book in this series.”

Quote of the Day:
[Leap frog] “is so humiliating to the boy who bends himself over and puts his hands down on his knees, and it is so perilous for the boy who, placing his hands on the stooped shoulders, attempts to fly over.”
~ Around the Tea Table, by T. De Witt Talmage (1875) 

quotes Gail likes

Goodreads Quotes

Labels: , ,